Education researcher Professor Becky Francis has been appointed the next director of the UCL Institute of Education in London.
Professor Francis, whose research focuses on educational inequalities, will start the role – one of the most influential in UK education research – on July1.
She will replace Chris Husbands, who left the post last month to become vice-chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University.
Professor Francis is professor of education and social justice and director of research at King’s College London’s department of education and professional studies.
Her academic publications cover gender, race and social class in educational contexts and feminist theory.
She is an adviser to the Commons education select committee and a judge in the 2016 TES Schools Awards.
“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead the most prestigious education institution in the world,” Professor Francis said. “The merger with UCL has enhanced the institute’s already world-leading reputation, and I look forward to working with staff and students to deliver on the next stage of our ambitious plans.”
Professor Michael Arthur, UCL president and provost, said: “Becky will bring a wealth of educational experience and social policy expertise to UCL and her knowledge and leadership will be invaluable to staff and students at the institute.”
The IoE was shortlisted in the University of the Year category of the 2014 Times Higher Education Awards, run by TES’ sister publication.